It occurred to me this morning that I have misrepresented God in a phrase that I have used over and over in my life. I can't count how many times I've said something along the lines of "God speaks to me more clearly _____________", and I've filled in that blank with all sorts of different phrases. Most of them relate to our new life here in Vermont. For so many reasons, I am less distracted and much more focused here than I have been at any other point in my adult life (though I still have far to go). Not only that, but I am daily surrounded by sensory delights that remind me quickly and easily of God and his attributes.
Mountains instantly shift my thinking to majesty, and my family's home, church and school are surrounded by mountains.
Snow reminds me of grace, and I see MUCH more of it here than I did in any other place I've ever lived.
Lush, beautiful gardens prompt me to consider God's provision, and there's one on every corner up here.
The list could easily go on, but that isn't really the point of this post.
The point is that even though all of these things lead me to a better focus on God, his majesty, his creation, etc., that doesn't mean that he *wasn't* speaking clearly before I moved here. God does not struggle with His communication skills. Ever.
So with all of that in mind, I am adopting the new phrase, "I listen better __________," and then I can fill in that blank with all of my preferred phrases. "When there's a blanket of peaceful snow covering the landscape." God's grace. "When I've hiked to the top of the nearest mountain to be alone with God." God's majesty. "When I'm digging in the garden and picking fresh peppers and tomatoes." God's provision.
And so on. I listen better. God has always spoken clearly, but I'm learning to listen better.
I'm not sure what prompted me to share that little bit of my sanctification process, but for what it's worth, there you have it. :-D